How to prompt first egg laying?

univ2271

New Member
Hi all,

This is Audrey, shes about 6 months old now. Pic is provided of setup - I have a heat lamp that now it’s colder (I live in UK) I have on for around 8 hours a day, UV lamp on for 12 hours a day. Two feeds per day, mixed diet of mealworms, crickets and small locusts, dusted with calcium with each feed and vit d once a week. I manually mist twice a day. Pooping normally, urate white.

Over the last couple of weeks I noticed she has a bit of a belly then this past week she’s not had such a huge appetite, she’s been grumpy (hissing if i come near the cage sometimes and not coming to the door when i open it to feed), she’s become permanently spotty in colouring and once or twice she’s gone low in the cage whereas she normally stays up top.

I think she’s ready to lay so I made an egg laying bin for her out of a bucket (in pic, 8-9 inch diameter, about 9 inch deep) filled with damp vermiculite, and i’ve draped a towel around the cage to give her privacy but nothing yet. Any tips for how to help her start laying, or when to take her to be checked by a vet? She doesn’t seem unwell or in pain.

Thanks in advance for any discussion, this site has been so so useful!!

Kath

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Lindasjackson

Chameleon Enthusiast
I don’t think vermiculite is an appropriate substrate for her to lay her eggs in. It’s usually recommended to use washed play sand or a 50/50 mix of washed play sand and organic potting soil. Is that moss in the bottom of her cage? If so that will need to be removed because it Can harbor bacteria from holding too much moisture as well as she could ingest it and become impacted.
 

univ2271

New Member
I don’t think vermiculite is an appropriate substrate for her to lay her eggs in. It’s usually recommended to use washed play sand or a 50/50 mix of washed play sand and organic potting soil. Is that moss in the bottom of her cage? If so that will need to be removed because it Can harbor bacteria from holding too much moisture as well as she could ingest it and become impacted.
Ah ok i’ll try swapping the vermiculite! No thats a fern, a bit worse for wear
 

Beman

Social Media Manager
Staff member
So the substrate for laying should be switched... This will hold a ton of moisture and can in turn collapse while she digs. You want to use washed playsand. Really does not need to be deeper than 6 inches. Some people mix this 50/50 with soil as well. You want to test that it holds a tunnel. https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/laying-bin-set-up-educational-video.77225/



How much has she been eating per day? For females this and temperature are very important to control clutch size. Looking for no more than 20 eggs laid. Less or no egg production is better.

As she matures you will have to start cutting back her food. By about 6 months she should be getting about 5-8 small feeders each day. At about 7 months you want to slowly reduce by cutting down feeder amounts so that she is on a feeding schedule of 3 days a week with 3 feeders. You want them to be on this schedule by the time they are 9-10 months old.

You will not ever want basking to be over 78-80 for her. Very important for females because as she ages she needs this temp no higher at basking to help control the amount of eggs she produces.
 

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univ2271

New Member
So the substrate for laying should be switched... This will hold a ton of moisture and can in turn collapse while she digs. You want to use washed playsand. Really does not need to be deeper than 6 inches. Some people mix this 50/50 with soil as well. You want to test that it holds a tunnel. https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/laying-bin-set-up-educational-video.77225/



How much has she been eating per day? For females this and temperature are very important to control clutch size. Looking for no more than 20 eggs laid. Less or no egg production is better.

As she matures you will have to start cutting back her food. By about 6 months she should be getting about 5-8 small feeders each day. At about 7 months you want to slowly reduce by cutting down feeder amounts so that she is on a feeding schedule of 3 days a week with 3 feeders. You want them to be on this schedule by the time they are 9-10 months old.

You will not ever want basking to be over 78-80 for her. Very important for females because as she ages she needs this temp no higher at basking to help control the amount of eggs she produces.
Oh wow this is incredibly helpful, thanks. I suspect I’ve been overfeeding her, she’s still on 10-15 crickets/equivalent per day atm. So i’ll reduce this. And i’ll switch the substrate asap, see how she goes with sand/soil mix!
 

Beman

Social Media Manager
Staff member
Oh wow this is incredibly helpful, thanks. I suspect I’ve been overfeeding her, she’s still on 10-15 crickets/equivalent per day atm. So i’ll reduce this. And i’ll switch the substrate asap, see how she goes with sand/soil mix!
Double check her basking temps as well. Since she can get so close to the fixture you will need to ensure it is not hotter than it should be. The reduction in temp is what helps reduce their appetite. Which is how we can reduce feeder amounts to control clutch size.
 
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